The Negotiator Magazine

Back to Index

prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next
download printable version (Word DOC)

5) Use of tone.
Tone carries tremendous inflection and, whether subtle or obvious, invites at least two levels of misinterpretation. First, your opponent can interpret your tone as meaning something other than you intended. Second, depending upon how your opponent translates your emotional tone, whether correctly or incorrectly, they will then infer meaning from what they have interpreted. In other words, you may intend your tone to sound empathetic. The recipient may perceive it to be mocking. In receiving it so, they will then freely associate all related assumptions within that context, including personal history, common experience and perception. This twice removes you from your intent – too far for comfortable retraction, particularly when the inflection is subtle, and asking for clarity becomes awkward for the recipient. This can result in your opponent internalizing a potentially false perception you won’t be aware of; yet, will find yourself addressing in one way or another, and perhaps atoning for, throughout the course of remaining conversation.

6) Awareness of emotion
Experiencing emotion is as natural as breathing. So much so, that  we often take its existence for granted. Others, may be so acutely aware of it, they strive to entomb it. While I personally prefer to mitigate my own emotion during negotiation, such an act may not be easily achieved by others. If you tend toward the dramatic, instead of fighting your emotions and potentially conveying an artificially stilted demeanor, it may be in your interest to either appoint a spokesperson, or simply enlighten your opponent as to your commonly portrayed emotional reactions. If you are amicable with your opponent, this may be achieved rather easily. Emotional reactions need not be considered ill-fated. In fact, they can be beneficial in realizing how topics of discussion interfere with forward momentum by eliciting impassioned response.

7) When in Rome.
 Just as you want to be familiar with the ways in which body language can convey emotion, you will want to be familiar with the verbal language your opponent chooses in order to convey thoughts. Provided you’ve accurately read the cues which prompt the collective response, emulating your opponent’s verbal language and physical gestures can open new pathways to empathetic understanding, breaking down artificial barriers erected through mere habit and custom. 

 

prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next
Back to Index


June 2006